Feb 23, 2020

Embryonic Temperature Programs Phenotype in Reptiles

Frontiers in Physiology
Sunil Kumar SinghT Rhen


Reptiles are critically affected by temperature throughout their lifespan, but especially so during early development. Temperature-induced changes in phenotype are a specific example of a broader phenomenon called phenotypic plasticity in which a single individual is able to develop different phenotypes when exposed to different environments. With climate change occurring at an unprecedented rate, it is important to study temperature effects on reptiles. For example, the potential impact of global warming is especially pronounced in species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) because temperature has a direct effect on a key phenotypic (sex) and demographic (population sex ratios) trait. Reptiles with TSD also serve as models for studying temperature effects on the development of other traits that display continuous variation. Temperature directly influences metabolic and developmental rate of embryos and can have permanent effects on phenotype that last beyond the embryonic period. For instance, incubation temperature programs post-hatching hormone production and growth physiology, which can profoundly influence fitness. Here, we review current knowledge of temperature effects on phenotypic and developmental plas...Continue Reading

  • References109
  • Citations2


  • References109
  • Citations2


Mentioned in this Paper

Neuronal Plasticity
Sexual Intercourse - Finding
Sex Determination
Biophysical Processes

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